New Zealand is in the process of reducing the sale of single-use plastics. Each year, Kiwis send 60kg of plastic waste to landfill each, so the new rules are designed to reduce waste, improve recycling systems, and protect the environment.

You may have noticed the changes that came into effect on 1 October 2022 – no more polystyrene takeaway packaging or meat trays, and some plastic items have been replaced with alternatives such as wooden drink stirrers and paper or bamboo cotton bud stems.

What are the next steps?

From mid-2023 these single use plastic products will be banned:

  • Produce bags – the ones you put your fruit in at the supermarket
  • Plates, bowls and cutlery
  • Straws
  • Produce labels (apple stickers and the like)

And from mid-2025 all food and drink packaging made from PVC or polystyrene will be banned.

What does this mean for your business?

If you use these products in your business, it’s time to start thinking about how you can eliminate them or replace them with a more environmentally friendly alternative. You’ll find more information on alternatives on the Ministry for the Environment website. Consumers are increasingly interested in reducing plastic waste, so changes are likely to meet with positive feedback.

Look at where you use these plastics, and where you’re using plastics in general – it might be in the kitchen, in the items you buy, or in your product or its packaging. Packaging companies already have options available to replace plastic items; if you talk to your packing supplier, they will help you find ways to reduce plastic use in your business.

When you make changes, make sure you tell everyone about it. Let your customers know what you’re doing, and get your team on board, too.

What about the extra costs?

A more sustainable business should be good for your bottom line in the long run, but managing the cost of the transition can be tricky. We can work with you to plan for these changes and put in place a strategy to manage any additional costs.

Do get in touch, we’d love to help your business.

About Pathfinder Solutions

Pathfinder Solutions advisory team members have either owned or managed businesses, or are investors themselves, so we know first-hand the challenges you face in your world.

Sure we’re Accountants, but the best solutions in business come from focusing on more than just the numbers. Our real-world business experience delivers just that.

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